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Thursday
Sep302010

pop quiz: which shoes?

Hi guys,

My beautiful friend Jenni is getting married in a few weeks and I found this glorious dark teal dress to wear to her wedding. I'll be in wedding party photos and her colors are aqua, sage, and grey. I wanted to get some grey pumps for fall anyway, so this is a great excuse. Help me figure out which ones are best... I'll give you a hint, four of them are on sale and the one I like best isn't. Murphy, I shake my fist at you!

xo, abbs

Thursday
Sep232010

the single girl's registry

You know when the same thing happens to several people around you and it seems like EVERYONE is doing it? Well, all of my super inner-circle Seattle ladies are engaged or married. I'm truly happy for all of them - they've all got really terriffic fellas. That being said, I'm coming up on 29 next week, and while I don't view myself as an old maid, it's been a while since I had a serious relationship, and a long-term grey area situation awkwardly ended recently. I definitely am not getting married anytime soon. I'm also giving tons of gifts to my friends (and really quite happy to do so), and wondering when it will be my turn for fluffy new towels and flatware that isn't from Target.


I still want all the stuff I posted about in my guest blog post at Undeniable Style, but bridal registries are all about housewares, so here are some home-building items. I don't have a ton of stuff for the bedroom because a) it's usually just got clothes all over the floor and there's not much room for anything else, and b) I make all the quilts so I don't need any quilts or blankets!

As a birthday present, my mom is going to help me paint my bedroom next weekend. I picked out a robin's-egg blue six years ago before I even moved into this condo, and still love it, so that's what's going on the walls. I think cheerful yellow linens would go beautifully with the walls and all of the quilts I rotate through. I've also been using little stools for night stands since the beginning of time and it's time to upgrade those too. These are classic, have a drawer to hide chapstick from the cat, and match my dresser.

In the bathroom, of course I need big cushy fluffy towels. I have been drooling over these towels at Macy's for at least a decade, and the chamomile color would go well with the honey, oatmeal, and ruby granite in my bathroom. I'd also like a big print on the wall - this one from Love Song Photo would be absolutely perfect. It reflects the colors of the granite countertop AND recalls an absolutely spectacular weekend spent at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.


For the kitchen, I'd like some nice solid flatware (Crate and Barrel) - mine is currently an assortment of crap I picked up at Fred Meyer and Target. Completely unsatisfactory.  I also have exactly one steak knife that I stole from my brother, which I think he inherited from his ex-girlfriend. I should probably have some of those, and why not make them pretty colors? My wineglasses are also terrible ones from Target. I'd really love some diminutive Italian style ones - I don't think I'm quite fancy enough for good stemware yet but I'd still like an upgrade. Plus these would take up way less room in my already overcrowded cabinets. Perky tablecloths are always fun. For everyday use I have Fiestaware in assorted colors but would really like some simple whiteware for dressier occcasions. Barring that, I want a crapload of cafe au lait bowls for everything that the fiestaware bowls suck at. And I've always wanted one of those cow-shaped milk jugs, even though I can't imagine that I'd use it that often. Something I would use all the time, though, is a set of Silpat mats for my cookie sheets - you wouldn't believe how much parchment I go through!



So remember, my birthday is next Friday, October 1. I also have an Amazon.com registry, wink wink. 

xo, at
Monday
Sep132010

quilt time



It's September. The days are getting cooler and the leaves are starting to turn. I don't even care that Seattle kind of slacked off on the whole "summer" thing - fall is absolutely my favorite season. This summer has been so busy and I can't wait to get hyggelig. Most of all, I can't wait to have time to SEW again!!! I have so many quilting ideas and have barely sewn a stitch all summer. This photo is a compilation of various inspiration photos I have taken recently - clockwise from top left, a doorstep in London, painted shingles in Manhattan Beach, a rug warehouse in Marrakech, a tiled doorway in Marrakech, the paving in Roche Harbor, and the detail on another house in Manhattan Beach. I love the patterns these architectural elements create, and someday I'd love to turn these into quilts. I have started this series already with my Cinque Terre quilt, inspired by a photo from my friend Thomas on a trip he took a couple of years ago. I don't have access to his but here is a photo from Flickr that shows the colors. I love the warm pastels with the occasional soft green, and the white lines between floors. Also you can see that the shutters are all forest green. I love towns that aren't afraid of color, especially when exposed to beige all over the place in puritanical America. I think color on a house is an outward espression of flamboyant joy. I love it.
Friday
Sep032010

a little me time

third post today... feast or famine, right, guys?

So this weekend is going to be pretty great - it's three days (even though I'm still temping so that's a whole day of pay lost) and I've got lots of fun stuff going on. However, all of that fun stuff is actually five days in a row of planning and celebrating four other people's weddings. I know the right man will come along someday but it's still hard to not compare yourself to your peers. In order to not dwell on this too much, I'm giving myself a little lovely Abby time.

After work my friend Jenni and I went for pedis, and couldn't get an appointment for 45 minutes so we went to the bar... just enough time for two g&ts each. The seasoned lady behind the bar did not mess around with the gin, either. Off to the spa, where we ended up splurging on buff manis too, then home and immediate PJ time. Cake round 1/3 is in the oven, round 2 is mixed, and I realized I hadn't eaten anything today except one sushi roll at lunch - so I ended up making myself pasta in a white sauce with peas, corn, and tuna. Super yum. I also decided to go for my second splurge of the day and open a bottle of wine that I had been saving "for something special"... if I'm not special, what is?

I'm going to get all these cakes baked tonight, and sleep in tomorrow, then prettify the cakes and go to a lovely party! Sunday I'm going wedding dress shopping with the BFF, and Monday I'm making decorations for another lovely friend! I am glad to be part of all these celebrations for people I love.

xo, at
Friday
Sep032010

oh, shoes.

Y'all, I love shoes. I look at shoes all the time, and I think about shoes a lot, and I deliberate over them. Sometimes I buy them and send them back because they're not perfect. I have less than twenty pairs (if you count sandals and everything) and people often think I've got a million because I talk about them all the time, but I really curate the collection. A few pairs I keep for a long time, and I have realized over the years that quality makes a huge difference. Also, since my foot surgery last year I can't wear the same shoes as I used to (pumps are harder and harder to walk in; the strap on mary jane styles helps a ton). I try and have practical shoes and fun shoes for every season, and there's nothing that sucks more than getting a gorgeous new dress and having zero shoes that match it. As we approach fall here in Seattle, the necessity of closed-toe, sensible winter shoes is becoming more real, and yet I am drawn to two wildly impractical pairs that bring such joy to my heart. They're both open toed pumps, in bright colors, when I really should be getting oxfords or mary janes in black or brown... but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Friday
Sep032010

the look today.

Hey guys.

Monica blogged her look today so I'm following suit. It's Friday, and I can wear whatever I want, so I'm going a bit cas in jeans and a grey cardi (Gap long & lean jeans are my staple; some people say I have a cardigan "problem". plus an h&m tank), but I jazzed it up a bit with these SUPER hot shoes (Nine West Shoesnoop) that I got on sale for $20 at Macy's earlier this summer. I have tried to wear them with skirts and though I've got some pretty stellar gams, it really cuts them off at the ankle, and I prefer a longer look in skirts. However, with cuffed jeans these shoes totally rock. A little bit of metallic pewter is subtly shimmery, but the grey leather is so in. And for being ridiculously tall, they're surprisingly comfortable.

The earrings are a favorite of mine, similar to the photo shown. Mine are actually on a long bronze colored hook, with a smooth disc of a raspberry colored stone and a little sweet pink faceted jewel hanging in front. The designer is Irene Wood (shop) who is an incredibly talented and super sweet lady. She's from Seattle and actually went to high school with Monica, and is also friends with another lovely girl I used to work with. Connections! I drool over her jewelry at every trunk show and get compliments every time I wear things she's made.

Casual Friday at its best!

xo, at
Thursday
Aug262010

oh noes!!

You guys, I am in my late twenties. I live in Seattle and am surrounded by extremely intelligent friends and acquaintances who are engineers of all kinds, most often software engineers, working at boeing and amazon and friggin' microsoft. Instead, I take the internet into my own hands because I wanna do it myself... and what do I do? I DELETE MY ENTIRE BLOG. If you noticed that it looks a little different, it's because even though my super super super awesome friend Alex was able to recover all the text, the skin I had carefully edited was completely lost, along with all the photos. And no, of course I didn't back it up, because who backs stuff up? Apparently not me. I don't even know how.

So please be patient with me over the next couple of days/weeks as I re-tweak the layout and add the pictures back in. It'll be back to normal in no time.

Also, the reason I deleted it (ACCIDENTALLY!!) was because I was having problems trying to set up my second blog - www.thehotbunsbakery.com ! I think I got it going pretty well, but I am starting by uploading the oldest photos first and moving into the future - I've got two years worth of cake pics to upload and link :) Gonna be a while until it's all updated and stuff, but I like where it's going!

XO!

at
Monday
Aug092010

"fancy" dinner

*not actual image.

So everyone's got a go-to lazy dinner; what you eat when you're dead tired but need something more than cereal. For me, that is cubed frozen potatoes fried in a little butter with Red Robin seasoning (my Catholic guilt makes me buy it, it's only $3, but most people just let it jump into their bag from the table at the reez) with a fried egg on top, and a tiny bit of barbecue sauce. It kind of takes a while, but I can do it while I get dressed or watch tv, and get up every few minutes to shake the pan so all the potatoes get evenly browned. It's not the healthiest thing but it definitely is satisfying and delicious.
Yesterday I drove from Pacific City, OR (having spent the weekend with some cousins) to Seattle with my brother, while I had a ridiculously terrible allergy attack. (thanks for driving Mike!) I arrived home around 6 pm and was so wiped out I couldn't do a dang thing except sit and watch TV and attempt to feed myself. The bag of potatoes in my freezer was only half of what I wanted, but I lucked out with a few sweet potato fries in there too. In they went to the pan. As my starches were frying, I went into the fridge for an egg and was confronted with about three weeks' worth of veg from my CSA box, just staring at me. I absolutely adore the CSA - it's like Christmas every Tuesday when I go pick up my stuff and open the box of gorgeous, brightly colored, picked-that-morning, chock full of vitamins deliciousness. But then the week gets busy and I forget to look up recipes even though the farm emails recipes to me just in case I am too lazy (I am), and the weekend finishes and there I am on Sunday night realizing I only have two days to eat like four jillion servings of awesome. The eating isn't a problem so much as how the heck to cook this. So I buckled down last night, fought the exhaustion, and dug out some fresh, juicy garlic, some small Walla Walla sweets, a zucchini and a handful of green beans. I lightly sauteed these bad boys and added them to a ginormous platter, poured myself a glass of pinot grigio that someone graciously left in my fridge, dumped two eggs on top, and went to town. I never cook like this for myself, but it was just what I needed and I felt both nourished and accomplished. I wish I did this more often - but this is a good start!
Tuesday
Aug032010

guest bloggin'

Hi guys! I guest blogged over at Undeniable Style yesterday. Check it out!
Thursday
Jul292010

Dock Dining

I am part of a dinner club which I believe I've mentioned before: two other couples (including my bff Monica) and I regularly get together to make and eat food. We're all great cooks and are pretty much guaranteed stellar eats when we get together.  Monica and her fiancé Andrew live in a sweet apartment complex that has docks and grills for general use, so in the summer that's our go-to spot. Last night was no exception to the good friends, good food rule. Alex and Kori brought a gazpacho flavored with cucumber and almonds. Monica and Andrew made turkey burgers with chorizo, topped with beecher's cheese, tomato slices, apple slices (who knew? it was freakin' perfect!), and spinach. I brought a simple salad with greens from my Local Roots Farm CSA box (Siri and Jason are longtime friends of mine, so it's really awesome that I get to support them!), some gorgeous strawberries, and crumbled blue cheese, dressed with just balsamic and olive oil. Kori and Alex also brought some lovely bubbly to celebrate Monica and Andrew's recent engagement (congrats you guys!!), and Monica made a lime-basil wine cooler, and a pitcher of shandy. Nights like this really make the summer sing.